Of Signs and Warnings


The disciple dearest to the Lord gazed at the heavens on Patmos - not the heavens of space, but the heavens of time - and saw the four riders each carrying a major disaster for mankind. One woe for one part of human sins. And St. John saw the angels blow their trumpets and each one proclaimed a woe that was to befall mankind. And the Apostle wrote down all that he had seen, as a warning, guidance and instruction to God's people. Two thousand years have passed and his writing is still there for us to see and read. For two thousand years we look at this writing, yet do not see it; for two thousand years we listen, yet do not hear. Our eyes see, our ears hear, but our spirit, confused by our scandalized mind, is closed to the message which is before us.

And the seven angels pour out the seven cups. Punishment pours down on us as we try to avoid it. We seek remedies in human medicine. We think that medicine for the terrible ills that have befallen us can be found in drugstores. What we do not see is that for every illness that we manage to cure, hundreds of other illnesses beset us. The waters of our world, the seas and the rivers, are polluted, poisonous rains fall upon us and every living thing on the earth. We think it is because of the factories. We prefer to see these phenomena as errors of science, rather than as sins against God. Let us not
deceive ourselves: all this is happening because we have poured out the Water of Life from the pitcher of our soul. And lo, in one corner of the Earth torrential rains fall and terrible winds blow, hail and storms abound, whereas in another there is not a single raindrop, not a gust of wind. And while in China the water gushes forth and carries away everything in its path, water is scarce in our Serbian lands. And in the whole world murderers and assassins are raging, people are dying. But the arrow does not fall upon those that conceive and organize evil, the servants of Antichrist. It falls on simple men who were enticed by the evil-doers and evil-thinkers into forgetfulness of
God. All of this is really happening and we are constantly hearing about this, but we do not see and we do not hear, as though we were blind and deaf.

A great disaster has befallen our people. All that has been written is happening to us. All the prophecies are coming true. We have become an object of ridicule in the eyes of the world, criminals against whom world justice is rising. We have become robbers, murderers, the bearers of iniquity. Stoned by everybody, mocked by all, persecuted by all, we do not ask the Defender for defense.

For decades the Serbian people have had no peace, for decades they have been torn apart by their superiors, for decades the Serbs have been convinced that they are not what they are. They are corroding our very souls, destroying our spirits, our bodies, sowing fear into our hearts. They have taken away our lands. But those lands are not ours, they are God's. They have robbed us of our possessions. But even those possessions are not ours - we cannot take them with us when we die. Alas, they have also robbed us of our souls and the soul cannot be replaced. For the day will come, when the Righteous Judge shall ask each and every one of us, all of the Serbian people: "Where is your soul?" And we shall not know what to answer Him. Who has robbed us of our souls?

Where are our souls, we ask, in these hot, rainless days, while our people are dying and the body of the entire nation is being ripped apart. Where are our souls? There is no answer, there is no one willing to answer. Each one of us has hidden deep within himself, afraid only for himself. Each one of us is thinking of his own possessions, his own situation, his own child. No one is thinking of others. We do not even want to see that, unless we feel compassion over our neighbor's woes, no one will have compassion on us. Unless we shed tears over our neighbor's child, the Lord will not protect ours. We do not cry out: "Lord, grant wisdom to our enemies and temper their wrath towards us!" We do not cry out: "Help us, O Lord, to be Thy witnesses before Christ-hating men!" We do not say: "God of our fathers, when Thou weighest our sins,
remember the faith of those amongst us that loved Thee!" We do not light candles for the repose of those souls for whom there is no one to light candles. We do not pray for the sinners in Hell. In fact, we do not even wish to know about Hell, perhaps because Hell is where we are living. We do not question ourselves, perhaps because we can already discern the answers.

And finding the answers is so easy. For how can we pray that God grant wisdom to our evil-doers, when we do not even pray for wisdom ourselves? How can we pray for the meekness of our enemies, when our own souls are ablaze with wrath and anger, with the fire of hatred, the venom of envy? How can we beg God to give us strength to be His witnesses, when the few that do believe in Him are never prepared to offer anything to Him? They only ask incessantly, thinking that the essence of God's love is to forgive every one of our iniquities, every unbelief, every evil we do. How can we call upon the merits of our ancestors, when we have forgotten them a long tine ago? We forgot everything the day we forgot God, the day we built ourselves many idols, when we said to ourselves: we will worship idols, for idols can be changed. We will worship
idols, because today one is our master and the next day another. We will choose only the idols that suit us. An idol rejected shall be a lie, and an idol accepted shall be proclaimed as the truth. We decide what is the truth and what is a lie. We are gods. Man is God-man.

Today, even as people are getting killed, even as unharvested wheat burns in the fields, new houses are being demolished and everyone fears their neighbors, we are not ready to give up our way of thinking. It is as if the whole nation were shrieking: man is made for pleasure! Man is made for himself! Man needs no soul, his intellect is sufficient! In our foolishness we believe that all this is happening to us because we have not yet come fully under the power of our intellects! We refuse to see that evil is among us
because of our lack of faith. We cry out for help, but we do not cry out for help from God. We plead for help from men, yet how can the powerless get help from the powerless? We look for salvation, but evil is omnipresent among our people, our soulless, godless people.

If we had souls, if we were God's, would we have forgotten Jasenovac and Glina, Zidani Most and Goli Otok? Would we have forgotten the Bosnian mountains, the countless unknown graves? Would we have forgotten Medjumurje, Slavonija, Lika, Kordun, Banija? Would we not have trembled in fear before the power of God, remembering the processions of Serbian refugees that for decades now have been fleeing from different Serb-haters? If we truly had souls, would we not have poured into our churches and from morning till night and from night till morning have cried ourselves hoarse: "Save us, o Lord!" Would not we have lamented unceasingly: "Do not forsake us, o God!" Would not this people have fasted? Would not this whole nation have denied themselves joy, because of a neighbor's grief?

No. Our churches are empty, as are our hearts. Our newspapers are full of every possible trivia, everything except that which should be written about. Our homes are full of possessions, but there are no children in them, no love, no blessings from God. All of the Serbian people are scandalized, afraid, but few seek salvation. Our churches are empty and the angels are blowing their trumpets. The universe echoes the sound of their trumpets, but we do not hear this. Instead, we listen to the trumpets of musicians and bands, we watch the grimacing of drugged idlers on television. And all the time the wind of evil is howling over our heads, words of punishment are being written in the
heavens of the world. And the voice of the prophet from Patmos cries out: "Into the temples, o people of God!" And the people do not hear.


Djordje Janic